The Newton Academy – the Science Club for Girls was set up by the University of Lincoln in June 2014 to take girls on a 3-year scientific voyage of discovery.
The Saturday Club is a series of Saturday morning science and technology-themed workshops consisting of hands-on activities and projects, designed to work alongside the National Curriculum, that will inspire and enthuse the next generation of female scientists and engineers.
The Academy has been created as part of the University of Lincoln’s Athena SWAN project, acknowledging the Institution’s commitment to improving the representation of women in science, engineering, technology, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). To improve the representation of female academics in some STEMM areas (particularly in physics, mathematics, engineering and computer science) we have to attract more girls to these subjects at School level (e.g. currently only 20% of Physics A-level students are female). We believe that early engagement is the key to increasing the popularity of STEMM subjects among our girls. The Academy, therefore, aims to inspire 10–14 year olds in STEMM subjects – subjects that research shows they are less likely to pursue – opening their eyes to the possibilities of what they can achieve, and encouraging them to consider post-16 study in STEM subjects… and ultimately, of course, to pursue science and technology careers. But most of all, the Newton Academy is all about showing young girls that science can be fun!
Girls enrol in the Academy at the end of Year 6 and stay until the end of Year 9. During their three years, ‘Newton Girls’ will take part in projects that develop their confidence, their enthusiasm for STEMM, and essential problem-solving and critical thinking skills. They will develop leadership skills and the confidence to challenge any preconceptions that may prevent them from pursuing and being successful in any STEMM field.
Lincoln University Technical College and the region’s science and technology-based industries are also involved in the Academy.